Thursday 11 October 2012

Team 1 is Number 1 in Auckland vs Auckland Women's Team Clash

The Women's team event at the NZ Senior Championships hosted a quality group of the best players from around the country. With no Wellington or Manawatu teams this year the best of those regions were drafted with Natalie Paterson joining Otago and Catherine Zhou joining Waikato.

Auckland 2's Nai Xin Jiang
Image Courtesy of Murray Finch
No doubt the strongest team was clearly Auckland 1 with Vicky Yang, Sarah Her-Lee, Sara Hu and Si Zhuo Huo. They wasted no time in making that point clear. Their opening match against Auckland 2 was sealed 5-2, aside from the doubles and a great win for Nai Xin Jiang over Si Zhuo Huo, it was smooth sailing for Auckland 1 after a bumpy 5 setter to open with Ruofei Rao (Akl 2) putting up a fantastic fight against Sarah Her-Lee.

Natalie Paterson put up a great fight when Otago and Waikato clashed, winning both her singles against Catherine Zhou and Armindeep Singh. Waikato cleared the way in the rest of the matches all in straight sets to win 5-2. Natalie proved to be leading the way for the team, claiming their only win against Angel Huang in a 6-1 loss to Canterbury. The former World Ranked 156 defensive player, Timea Tapai forming a solid base of wins for the South Island team. 

Waikato went on to lead the way against Auckland 2, leading 3-2 after Jessica had a great 3-1 win over Sarah Sandley and Catherine won her 2 singles. Auckland 2 held steady and Sarah Sandley's win over Armindeep Singh and Nai Xin's win over Jessica ended in a 4-3 win for the second Auckland team.

Canterbury's Timea Tapai
Image Courtesy of Murray Finch
Auckland 1 dropped just a single match to Waikato, Catherine Zhou beating Sara Hu. With Vicky Yang stepping into this match there was more than enough skill on board for the top Auckland team, winning her 2 singles and a doubles with relative comfort. 

Auckland 2 won their next 2 matches, 4-3 over Canterbury, a tight fought battle with Timea again proving she had a skill level competent enough to win her games with relative ease. With the doubles also in the bag for Canterbury it was a hard fight for Auckland to come through in the end. They also beat Otago 6-1 with Natalie stepping up to beat Ruofei Rao.

Auckland 1 win Women's Team Event
Image Courtesy of Murray Finch
Auckland 1 were able to defeat Canterbury 5-2. Timea beating both Sarah Her-Lee (3-0) and Vicky Yang (3-1), a sure sign she will be out to win in the individual events. Angel Huang pushed Sara Hu to 5 sets in the final match of the round but was beaten when the pressure came on. Following that match, Waikato were also able to beat Canterbury 4-3, winning all the matches remaining after Timea had finished winning her 2 and the doubles with Angel Huang.

Auckland 1 danced into the final with a 7-0 win over Otago and were set to face Auckland 2 in the finals.

Despite their best efforts, Auckland 2 didn't get off to the start they may have wanted. Vicky Yang started off with a straight sets win over Sarah Sandley, followed by Sara Hu also winning her match against Nai Xin Jiang also 3-0. Ruofei Rao led Sarah Her-Lee 2-1 and held 4 match points in the 4th set before Sarah came back to win in the defining moments of the 5th set. With 3 matches in hand Auckland 1 proceeded confidently into the doubles and were able to win it 3-0. The end score 4-0 for Auckland 1.

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